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HomeWorldSecretary-General Calls For Immediate End To Israeli-Palestine Violence

Secretary-General Calls For Immediate End To Israeli-Palestine Violence


OCHA
| Escalated hostilities in the
Gaza Strip have resulted in further casualties and
large-scale displacement, 12 May
2021.

The current
“senseless” cycle of violence in the Middle East must
end now, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in an
address to the Security Council on Sunday
morning.

Describing the hostilities as
“utterly appalling”
, the Secretary-General warned
that hopes of coexistence and peace between Palestinians and
Israelis are being pushed even farther to the
horizon.

“Fighting must stop. It must stop
immediately,” he said. “Rockets and mortars on one side
and aerial and artillery bombardments on the other must
stop. I appeal to all parties to heed this
call.”

The virtual Council meeting, which was
attended by several Foreign Ministers as well as
ambassadors, was held amid the most serious escalation in
Gaza and Israel in years. Clashes have also broken out
across the occupied West Bank, including East
Jerusalem.

Region at risk

The
Secretary-General feared the violence could have devastating
far-reaching consequences.

“The fighting risks
dragging Israelis and Palestinians into a spiral of violence
with devastating consequences for both communities and for
the entire region,” he said.

“It has the potential
to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis
and to further foster extremism, not only in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory and Israel, but in the region as a
whole, potentially creating a new locus of dangerous
instability,” he said.

The UN chief stressed that
the only way forward is to return to negotiations towards a
two-State solution, but the fighting is making this goal
even more challenging.

He reiterated UN commitment to
working with the Israelis and Palestinians, and with
international and regional partners, to realize a lasting
and just peace.

“This senseless cycle of bloodshed,
terror and destruction must stop immediately,” he
said.

Death, displacement, destruction

Tor
Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace
Process, outlined the human cost of the deadly escalation
between the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Palestinian
armed groups in Gaza. Preliminary figures show some 181
Palestinians and nine Israelis have been killed, while
health authorities in Gaza report 1,200 people have been
injured.

The UN envoy added that the humanitarian and
security situation in the densely packed Gaza Strip grows
increasingly dire by the day.

The embattled health
system is already overwhelmed by chronic shortages of
medicine and equipment, and now the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, over 34,000 people have been displaced, and
more than 40 schools operated by UN agency UNRWA are now
serving as shelters.

“As a result of the military
operations, seven factories, 40 schools and at least four
hospitals sustained complete or partial damage,” he
said
.

“At least 18 buildings, including four
high-rise towers, including one hosting international media
outlets, have been destroyed and over 350 buildings damaged.
According to the IDF, these buildings contained Hamas
military installations.”

Echoing the
Secretary-General’s call for immediate de-escalation, Mr
Wennesland said the UN is working tirelessly on all sides to
restore calm.

“Israelis and Palestinians have a
legitimate right to safety and security. The violence we are
witnessing now is unacceptable and
unjustifiable.”

© Scoop Media

 



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